thinnerwhy are white women
stick thin in magazines
and on television,
where everyone can see?
i wish that i was a black woman
because even fat black women
are graceful and confident,
and if i was so thin
so skinny-thinny that my
collarbones were like wire hangers
and my ribs a xylophone
it would never be enough --
i would want to be
until i was
just ash and bone.
la musica dulceheartbeats are psycho-la musica dulce2 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
the ocean has swallowed
hay una guitarra bajo
mi almohada, y
sueño de música cuando
you came here with
city smoke in your lungs,
forgot to breathe.
monster"i feel like a monster" -monster2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
whispered secrets to a plastic Jesus;
pray for swift, holy justice.
no - Fate smiles. too easy.
swallow it down, let it
burn deep inside,
i tasted the fever on your lips
and it was metallic
burning quicksilver in your veins,
dripping off your tongue.
waited for it to consume you
like the monster
that it is.
"we're all monsters inside" -
broken revelations in the darkness;
the daylight was too bright
to see our sins by.
i drew the fire out with each kiss
and blew away the smoke:
guilt is like a glass hammer
beating against stone.
Orbiti think that if we were planets,Orbit4 months ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
we would orbit in parallel -
side by side, but never quite touching.
we're both of us broken,
we don't "get" affection.
outward displays of love and happiness
are too much: just beyond our
limited scopes of capability.
we're kindred spirits, but
broken souls are no good to anyone -
not even each other.
almost, but not quite.to the boy with ghost hands:almost, but not quite.7 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
his hands are not like yours,
your teeth leave different scars.
love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs;
it only lasts a little while
where I end and you begin.
maybe you never belonged to me.
this will be the last piece I ever write about you.
to the boy with the butterfly tattoo:
you found love
in the bathroom sink,
borrowing the past
even phantoms, my lovemy love, there are things you should know about me:even phantoms, my love3 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
instead of ribs, there is a birdcage in my chest
& locked inside is a sparrow that flutters its wings
against the bars every time you come around.
my blood is pumped by a metronome that
whispers your name with every practiced beat.
you told me that you like catching fireflies
so i trapped my soul in a mason jar for you
& i hope that you will keep it for years to come,
place it on a shelf where you can take it down
once in a while and blow the dust off the top
like a bottle of wine that you'll never open.
i wrote my love for you inside of a prayer
& the words knitted together to create bones
so i built myself on them one hallelujah at a time.
you described your eyes as the color of the sea
so i anchored myself in their blue-grey depths
and left my castle abandoned on the shore.
i am not a person anymore:
no, i am a collection of objects and ideas
that i have taken from you and used to
build myself into something comprehensible.
Mamawi.Mamaw7 months ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
i never noticed how delicate my grandmother's hands were;
they always seemed so strong to me. strumming her beloved
guitar, plucking out a tune on her banjo, dancing across
the keys of an organ, her hands came to life. watching them
shake as she struggled to lift her fingers to her cheek,
i couldn't believe how slender her fingers were.
i never noticed how small my grandmother's bones were
until i saw the skin hanging from them. she was always
a big woman; it was a shock to see her arm no bigger
than my own. when I was little, she would balance a
teacup on her belly and laugh, and never spill a drop.
then sings my soul, my savior, god, to thee
how great thou art, how great thou art
-- you are hymns on sunday morning:
and every other day of the week as well.
to an errant loveri have painted my loneliness white;to an errant lover2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
make no mistake.
it hides itself beneath my skin
and if i try very hard i do not see it.
only in the quiet moments.
you are a teacher
in the art of forgetting -
already i have forgotten
how to breathe.
air is as nothing.
you are in my blood.
i need to sleep to wake up but i can't.
you promised to return -
when? when? when?
i miss you.
i saw you today
and the words in my mouth
blew away with the leaves.
you whispered loving artifice
against my skin in the stillness -
"¿soy una puta, verdad?"
"sí, eres la puta más linda del mundo."
and i am yours beyond all doubt and reason;
only say that you will return.
i will wait here
so that you may seek me
if only in the quiet moments.
you and ionce a chubby man with a moustache andyou and i4 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
a wifebeater told me i looked like elisabeth taylor.
and then i threw up on his shoes and
he told me he'd changed his mind.
another man once told me "let's get together" but
he didn't tell me that together did not mean always.
i did not throw up on his shoes, but
i did trash his cherry red '69 corvette stingray.
later, a beautiful man with an Irish tongue and
súile neamhfhírinneach asked me to be his forever.
so being the fool i was played for, i said that i would,
only to realize he had not made the same promise.
this is not a story about any of these men.
or rather, it is, but not entirely, because
this is a story about many men and
it is also a story about you and i.
except that there is no 'you and i', there is only 'you' and 'i'
but i'm strangely okay with that because
i don't want to be i, i want to be I, and
i want you to be You, and not Them
and only then will our story have a happy ending.
dear mommadear momma,dear momma4 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
do you remember the night I got so drunk and stoned
that I spent an hour just clutching the sides of the
trash can for dear life and whimpering for you to help me?
& you were so far gone yourself that all you could do was
watch me while you lit the bowl and took another hit.
that was how I felt the day you left my father
and I followed you out the road crying your name,
begging you to take me with you, not understanding.
& that was how I felt when I told you that I needed you
and you said "I know" and then just let it go at that.
Fatheras I walk in my father's bones,Father6 months ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
I reconstruct him [in]correctly.
I don't need to be a daughter
to a man I'll never know.
Autumn was my first love.October, I follow you -Autumn was my first love.6 months ago in Visual & Found Poetry More Like This
from the magic lights of New York
to moonshines in Georgia,
until the colors dissolve.
The anxious poetry of autumn
made a memory of me.
Here’s to things I take for granted:
country road thunderstorms.
Unspoken words, unwritten ideas.
October, I follow you;
I thought I saw you on the shore
where the river runs through gold
on the last boat leaving the city of a hundred spires -
or perhaps Pittsburgh
(it was the lights I guess).
Here’s to the things we leave behind:
sunbeams in November,
letters addressed to no one,
poems, wounds, dead birds.
I’ve got that summertime sadness.
Maybe you’re gonna come back;
we’re changing our ways, taking different roads
and loneliness knows me by name
but October, I follow you;
without you I’m a winter heart,
a love story you don’t want,
a November shade of grey hunting ghosts
in cities that sleep inside our heads.
You told me you lied the night you kiss
temerity (noun)for nine years, you called my sisters and i names -temerity (noun)2 weeks ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
names like "hog", "piggy", and "oinker".
you berated and belittled us for our weight,
told us that no one would date fatties like us.
you told our mother, the woman you profess to love,
that she would look better if she would just
lose a couple of pounds; criticized her
until she developed a disorder, an obsession
that i feel every time i hug her fragile shoulders,
shoulders that were not meant to carry the burden of this.
you compared us endlessly to your own
flawless, rail-thin daughters, bullying them
into silence at the first syllable of protest.
it took nine years to come to this.
when you "teased" my baby sister tonight
in the middle of the chinese buffet for
how little food she had on her plate,
she stood up and looked straight at you
and your own gluttonous portions and said,
"because you taught me not to be fat."
as she walked away, you looked at our mother
and demanded to know if she was just going to let that go.
i held my
the elements that bind us togetherpoems, wounds, and dead birdsthe elements that bind us together10 months ago in Visual & Found Poetry More Like This
made a memory of me.
you can't protect me from them;
i meet things which do not belong to this world.
sometimes there is a dark character in my dreams -
feels like the end.
take a breath
on a cold night.
little gypsy moth,
in every mind
are ghosts up in the attic.
i'd kill to be queen.
ocean angelShe's a dancer; you can tell by the way she stands,ocean angel2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
with her chin held high, slim shoulders thrown back.
You can see it in the way she runs; on the balls of her feet,
light as a dandelion seed, ready to fly far, far away.
She ties her hair back in a tight little knot at the nape
of her neck, but three little tendrils always manage
to escape and frame the delicate frame of her face.
The back of her leotard is covered in sand;
her leggings are pulled up to her knees.
She follows the coastline as though it is the long path home,
swaying with each swell and ebb of the tide.
Gravity is nothing and everything to her. She pauses
to examine the horizon for secrets, and is bathed
in golden light. Laughing, she twirls; faster, faster, and
faster still, until even the sun becomes dizzy and falls out
of orbit, and the moon is afraid to take its place.
Somewhere, on another planet, perhaps, a voice calls to her.
She stops spinning, but does not fall, and her eyes
shame the stars when she smiles. I
faces, spaces, placesallow me to exaggerate a memory or two:faces, spaces, places8 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
when somebody says your name for the last time,
you let men lay on you
to keep the sleep away.
years go by like one day
here under the north star.
below the canopies,
lost wishes can be found.
cities sleep inside our heads;
a quiet sentinel.
the longer I lay here,
the most peculiar of places,
in the space where I can breathe,
I can't explain the feelings I get.
have I run too far to get home?
we are all astronauts in the dead of night.
when a poet's heart breaks,
an end is just another beginning.
transition--ingi am -- transition:transition--ing2 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
lingering here --
feelings i can't seem
let me burn,
light up the midday sky
driving in the middle
of the road
when i'm alone:
i'm told, defined:
getting -- sorted -- out.
i am -- transition:
cannibalism: the art of eating my heart and souli. there are some things that you tell to no one, not even the pink-furred easter bunny who knows all your secrets and shares your bed at night and sometimes watches when you touch yourself in desperation.cannibalism: the art of eating my heart and soul6 months ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
ii. no one will ever understand that you don't always have to be asleep to be having one of those nightmares where you open your mouth to scream only to realize that you can't force a single sound past your waiting lips because what kind of freak are you, anyway? you should have -
iii. it's impossible to explain to someone that you might be in love with your best friend who is also a girl but you aren't sure because you're afraid that the only reason you think of women in that way is a reason that you can't tell them.
iv. this is what you have done to me: locked me up inside myself and eaten the key.
Wakinghere, the nights areWaking6 months ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
bruised with wondering,
and i feel you in beds
you have never known.
here, i am taken by a gnawing,
lingering hunger that consumes
the vestiges of my reason,
leaving me grasping blindly.
i am forgetting my body
without you. without your
touch to tether me.
i am alone.
there, you are sleeping,
your spine curved in silent
repose; the sun setting on
the small of your back.
there, your lips part
with unborn sound as you
drift an untamed ocean
of peaceful amnesia.
you have forgotten my body
without care. without thoughts
of what may have been.
you are free.
Post Script (Five Things I Never)Post Script (Five Things I Never)Post Script (Five Things I Never)6 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
stolen kisses in the rain
were not for you and I,
hidden in drifting snow castles.
Army cap perched jauntily
atop ever-tangled tendrils,
I could not even salute a goodbye.
all the songs that remind me,
but we never had one -
you weren't that kind of guy.
taste it on my cheeks
and blame it on the rain.
v. taste of cigarettes on your
lips - three words, unheard,
cause way too much pain.
and other four letter wordsthe girl he loves hasand other four letter words2 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
inkstained fingertips and
holds herself together
with angel dust and rum.
the girl he loves has a
ribcage like a xylophone
and counts the centimeters
between her thighs.
she prefers the taste of
raindrops to ice cream,
and paints her nails pink,
the color of organs.
she used to sing in the shower
as a child, but now
she can't remember
the words to the songs.
the girl he loves has
dreams that keep her
running in place,
afraid to escape.
the girl he loves has no
idea who she is anymore,
because she lost herself
trying to find him.
star sky, not starry skyyou're always on the tip of my tonguestar sky, not starry sky2 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
like the words that i shouldn't speak.
i keep the pieces of you pressed tight
in the back of my memory and mostly
i try really hard not to think about them.
mostly i try really hard not to think
about the way you pressed me tight
against your chest under the star sky.
not a starry sky, a star sky, because
stars are what the sky is made up of.
i thought then that i wanted to be a
star in the sky because no one forgets
about the stars when they can see them
every single night; you laughed because you
didn't know the fear of being forgotten.
so i wonder now if you know that i am
slowly pressing you further and further
from the front of my mind, back to the
very backity backy of my tongue, where
i can't taste your kiss, and forgetting.
chrysalisshe wants to be thin enough to fly away.chrysalis2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to taste the clouds on her broken lips
and see the sunlight between her thighs
when she sways down the street.
she wants to hold hands with a ghost boy
and feel the breeze on her perfect,
sun-bleached bones -- flesh is too heavy.
when she was very, very little, she broke
a struggling butterfly's chrysalis,
and cried when it fell to the ground,
dead -- her mother said that it wasn't
ready, wasn't strong enough to fly --
she wants to be strong enough to live.
for a brother who was never minehush!for a brother who was never mine3 months ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
a poem i didn't write.
my brother is a statue;
tones of words
flying into pieces.
those who play for ghosts
know there are alligators in the lake
[and] five ways to kill a man.
boys with bird names can't actually fly;
i apologize for taking after you.
let that be the reason.
bed sheets hold more than bodies,
closets are no place for secrets;
forgetfulness is bliss.
you can't have it all.
monsters do die.